WASHINGTON — More than 1.1 million people have enrolled in health insurance plans through the marketplace operated by the federal government, the Obama administration announced Sunday.
A late-December surge in sign-ups — combined with rising enrollment on similar marketplaces operated by 14 states and the District of Columbia — means that about 2 million people nationwide appear to have signed up for health coverage under President Obama’s health law since Oct. 1.
Not all states have reported their enrollment numbers through Dec. 24, so an exact tally is not available.
The vast majority of people who signed up for coverage have done so since the beginning of December. On the federal site, which is used by residents of 36 states, about 975,000 of the 1.1 million enrolled in December, according to the administration.
The figures mark a major milestone for implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which was hobbled in October and November by the disastrous rollout of the online enrollment system on the federal HealthCare.gov website.
“As we continue our open-enrollment campaign, we experienced a welcome surge in enrollment as millions of Americans seek access to affordable healthcare coverage through new health insurance marketplaces nationwide,” Medicare director Marilyn Tavenner wrote in a blog post Sunday morning. Tavenner’s agency is operating the federal marketplace.
It is still unclear how many of the roughly 2 million people who have enrolled will actually have health coverage starting Jan. 1. Many consumers probably have not yet paid their first month’s premiums. Most insurers have said they will give people until later in January to make the initial payments.
Enrollment in the insurance plans created by the health law still lags behind administration goals. Officials had hoped to get 3 million people signed up by now, and 7 million by March 31, the final deadline for signing up.
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